Services to commemorate war

Lights Out in Daventry
Lights Out in Daventry

Around 150 people gathered at Daventry’s war memorial at 10pm on Monday night to commemorate the moment of the start of the war for the United Kingdom.

The crowd filled Abbey Street with each person carrying a candle and Daventry Brass playing historical tunes.

The service started at 10.30pm, led by Deacon Janet Thomas from Daventry Methodist Church.

The short service included hymns, prayers and a reading, ending with the singing of the National Anthem.

The Mayor of Daventry Cllr Ron Fox then unveiled a new wooden plaque at the war memorial inscribed with the words: “For your tomorrow, we gave our today. August 1914 – August 2014.”

The service ended at 11pm, the time at which 100 years previously the message “Commence hostilities against Germany” was sent out to the British fleet.

The new plaque unveiled on Monday night is part of a refurbishment of the area around the memorial, including new planting, carried out by Daventry Town Council in this centenary year.

In Long Buckby about 400 villagers gathered on the market square for a service and to unveil a new mosaic. A bagpiper played, and the Elation Community Choir performed In Flanders Fields and other songs. At 10pm the lights on the mural were turned out.

The making of the mosaic was truly a community effort, led by the artist Ali Gage working with the parish council to create a lasting and fitting memorial to those villagers who lost the lives in WW1, but also to those who lives were never the same again.

This Saturday coming Daventry’s Centenary Fete and Sports Day will take place at The Hollows with fun activities for the whole family from midday until 5pm.

It will feature old-fashioned competitions for parents and children such as tug o’war and egg and spoon races as well as sports including cricket, archery and sprint races with medals awarded to the winners.

There will be traditional early 1900s fairground attractions, old-time stalls, a craft market, a fancy dress competition for children, an acrobatic demonstration, circus skills workshop and a companion dog show held under Kennel Club Rules.

Music will be provided by Daventry Brass and the Phoenix Centre Choir while Heartless Prince Theatre Company will be performing a set from a play about the First World War called Last Man Standing.

Daventry Museum in New Street will be opening its doors from 10am to 4pm on the day with a special exhibit of war memorabilia.

Visitors will also have the opportunity to research their family tree and links to WW1 with the help of two specialist genealogists.

A World War One Centenary Tea Dance will also be taking place at Daventry Leisure Centre from 4pm to 7pm on Saturday, featuring a dancing demonstration followed by a tea dance inspired by the early 1900s. Tickets are free but must be booked in advance at DDC on 01327 871100.